Back to profile

Cynthia E. Griffin

Stories by Cynthia E.

School board chooses special election

Seeks a June 3 date

Despite listening to three hours of testimony from more than 100 speakers, the Los Angeles School Board voted Tuesday to hold a special election to replace member Marguerite LaMotte.

LAUSD delays decision on District 1

Will discuss options Jan. 7

After hearing the wishes and requests of a parade of speakers, including elected officials such as Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and former state assemblyman Mike Davis, the Los Angeles Unified School (LAUSD) Board voted Tuesday to delay making a decision about how to fill seat left vacant with the death of Marguerite LaMotte.

Tease photo

Sebastian Ridley-Thomas headed to state captial

Easily defeats opponents

In the 54th Assembly District race, 26-year-old Sebastian Ridley-Thomas handily defeated his rivals to win the right to represent voters in the state government.

Black parent groups voice concerns

Seek more attention for African American students’ needs

Against a backdrop of achievement numbers that leave no one in doubt that African American students in California and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) are struggling, a coalition of Black parent groups and educational activists met recently at the Baldwin Hills Library to air their concerns about what is happening to their children in the state’s public education system and to recommend actions to begin changing the situation.

Diverse is watch word in 54th Assembly District

Candidates reflect that as well

The three candidates running for office to complete the unexpired term left in the 54th Assembly District when Holly Mitchell was elected to the State Senate are much like the district itself—a diverse collection of individuals.

October job numbers remain basically unchanged

Employers bullish on hiring

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly employment report, and although the economy added 204,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in October, the overall unemployment rate remained basically the same, up to 7.3 percent in October from 7.2 the month before.

Metro summit targeted small firms

Procurement opportunities featured

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (METRO) held its first-ever Small Business Opportunity Summit Monday at the California African American Museum (CAAM) and about 300 people turned out for the event, which was designed to help entrepreneurs connect with agency executives responsible for contracting and procurement as well the contractor selected to construct the Crenshaw/LAX light rail.

Tease photo

Students of color policed more heavily

Even elementary pupils ticketed

In a report released Wednesday during a student/community rally and street theatrical performance, The Labor/Conmmunity Strategy Center Community Rights Campaign found that despite an 80 percent reduction in truancy ticketing since February 2012 and as much as a 50 percent drop in school police ticketing across all categories, African American students are still almost six times as likely as White pupils in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to receive tickets.

Economic forecast highlights South Los Angeles

Comprehensive plan needed

Driving through communities like Chinatown and Little Tokyo, Forescee Hogan-Rowles used to wonder why it wasn’t happening in South Los Angeles. She also asked why they weren’t doing anything to make it happen.

Young people benefit from Obamacare

Low-cost plan available

The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, (Obamacare) which goes into effect January 2014 and began enrolling people on Oct. 1, has a number of provisions that specifically speak to the health needs of adolescents and young adults.

Tease photo

CAAM gala helps fund the future

L.A. legend, Carmen De Lavallade, among honorees

As executive director of the California African American Museum (CAAM), Charmaine Jefferson knows that how much money the partially state-funded cultural facility raises Saturday during its annual gala will depend in great measure on how artfully she can coax donors to part with their hard-earned dollars and put them into the museum’s coffer.

Tease photo

Arts icon, Cecil Fergerson, succumbs

Demanded decades of recognition for people of color

Every July, the Black arts community found itself at the center of a big bash celebrating the birthday of a man some called the “Godfather” of L.A.’s African American arts community.

Tease photo

Ralphs set to invest in local store

Planning for remodel of Manchester/Western location in motion

More than 30 leaders and members of neighborhood councils, block clubs and other community groups met Saturday with representatives from the Ralphs grocery chain to express concern about the future of some of the remaining stores in South Los Angeles.

Tease photo

Mental illness is a family issue

Blacks need to push past the stigma

The actions of former Naval reservist Aaron Alexis, who killed 12 people and wounded eight others at a Washington, D.C. naval base Tuesday, once again turns a spotlight on mental illness in the Black community.

Tease photo

Black unemployment inches up

National numbers remain steady at 7.3 percent

Despite a Bureau of Labor Statistics report that the national unemployment rate remained basically the same, (at 7.3 percent for August compared to 7.4 in July) and that 169,000 non-farm, private sector jobs were added to the economy, the percentage of African Americans participating in the civilian labor force slipped overall from 61.4 percent in July to 60.8 percent in August.

Tease photo

Los Angeles reflects on March on Washington

Progess made, more work to do

As America marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, there is one fact that cannot be disputed—there has been progress in the last five decades.

Tease photo

‘The Butler’ tops first-week release numbers

One of the eight top-grossing contemporary Black films

“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” grossed $25 million at the box office during the first weekend release. Ticket sales topped the projected $15 million take, and put the flick well ahead of all the first releases for the weekend—$13.6 million for “Kick Ass 2” and $6.7 million for “JOBS.”

Tease photo

W.E.B. Du Bois’ death is forever tied to the march

He died the night before in Ghana

William Edward Burghardt “W. E. B.” Du Bois, a sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author and editor died the night before the historic march on Washington, and this year marks also the 50th anniversary of his death.

Tease photo

Compton’s Jr. Posse rides in on a good horse story

Equestrian program inspires feature film

In families, siblings often support one another without question. That was definitely the case with Michele Ervin and her younger sister Sheila McKinnon.

Tease photo

Concert will honor guitarist Kenny Burrell pg.14

Decades-long career encompassed diverse musical genres

Mere weeks after releasing his latest album “Dream Weaver,” and a little more than a year after the death of his wife, Corine, veteran jazz musician George Duke died Monday at St. John’s hospital in Los Angeles. Private funeral services are planned.

Tease photo

Turner Construction to prequalify subcontractors

Information session planned for Aug. 13

Turner Construction will hold a prequalification information session for people looking to subcontract on the $650 million Wilshire Grand Hotel Project. The meeting will be held Aug. 13 from 4-6 p.m., at the Los Angeles Convention Center in West Hall, Room 502, 1201 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles. The deadline to register is today at 5 p.m.

Tease photo

Trayvon Martin: his presence may be gone, but the name lingers on

Outrage, legislative acts, vigils and other events continue the conversation

The nation is still talking about the verdict in the Trayvon Martin murder trial—in songs, teach-ins, panel discussions and legislative proposals. In Congress, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) introduced the End Racial Profiling Act Tuesday alongside longtime supporter Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., who is sponsoring the Senate version of the bill.

Tease photo

President lays out strategy for more middle-class jobs

Rebuilding infrastructure, simplifying tax code and more cited

Speaking in an address that lasted just a little more than 30 minutes before a audience at the Chattanooga, Tenn., Amazon fulfillment plant, President Barack Obama laid out what he called a framework and a national strategy “to make sure that every single person who’s willing to work hard in this county has a chance to succeed in the 21st-century economy.”

Tease photo

Watts Summer Festival: ongoing effort to highlight the positive

Will honor 15-25-year-olds who continue the work

The 47th annual Watts Summer Festival is a free, two-day event that offers residents a mixture of entertainment, conversations and information.

Tease photo

Does the president’s remarks help soothe pain of the Trayvon Martin case?

‘It was important … hear the president speak about this issue,’ says Congresswoman Karen Bass

In a move that appeared to respond to calls within the Black community for a comment, President Barack Obama talked about the Trayvon Martin verdict in the Friday White House daily briefing.

Tease photo

Garcetti gets face-to-face with community youth

He listens to their concerns, after Trayvon Martin verdict

They are the young African American and Latino students participating in the Community Coalition (CoCo) Freedom School program, and they were on the way from their morning session to a meeting with Mayor Eric Garcetti to discuss an issue that has captivated the attention of America—the Trayvon Martin verdict.

Tease photo

High Black unemployment continues 50-year trend

Urban League to launch local solutions

The Black unemployment rate for June 2013 continues at 13.7 percent, which according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics is essentially unchanged from the May 2013 rate of 13.5 percent; the April rate of 13.2 percent and the 13.3 percent rate for March.

Panel discussions offer gravity to the BET Experience

Snoop Lion, TI, Master P, ‘Lil Mama hold court

Despite the heat, more than 500 people turned out Saturday for a seminar on eliminating gun violence in urban areas.

Tease photo

Mitchell makes early declaration of Senate aspirations

Going after Curren Price’s 26th District seat

Although Gov. Jerry Brown has just called for a Sept. 17 special election to fill the senate seat vacated by Curren Price, who is now a member of the Los Angeles City Council, Assemblymember Holly J. Mitchell in late May announced that she plans to run for the vacant slot.

Tease photo

Leimert Park Book Fair honors the 1960s

Black Panthers, Freedom Riders tell their stories

The seventh annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair will feature a special tribute to the 1960s beginning at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 29, on the Leimert Park Vision Theatre back lot, 4318 Degnan Blvd.

Bronzeville: Little Tokyo in Black and Tan

nArtists shed light on little-known L.A. history

That simple question, combined with a snatch of a mural and the reaction of an elderly Japanese American merchant at the door of a Little Tokyo camera shop, served as the catalyst to unleash a whole torrent that for mixed-media artist and graphic designer Kathie Foley-Meyer has turned into a multifaceted entity called Project Bronzeville.

Tease photo

Palmdale School District reaches agreement on cuts with two unions

Teachers yet to agree to concessions

Two of the three labor unions that serve the Palmdale School District (PSD) have agreed to salary concessions and furlough days that will help enable the district to meet its financial obligations for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years.

Midtown Bowl closing its doors after 52 years

World on Wheels skating rink goes too

It survived the civil unrest of 1992 that left its neighbors burned out hulks. It survived in a neighborhood where gangs are an ever-present force to be reckoned with.

Tease photo

California poised to take on Common Core Standards

New education model would be consistent across 48 states

During the 2014-15 school year, California public school students in grades three to 11 will face a new set of standardized tests aligned to a new educational standard called the Common Core State Standards.

Tease photo

Fathers working their way back home

Local, national groups are helping dads stay in their children’s lives

In 2012, Darwin Gray found himself feeling like a deer caught in the headlights. And it wasn’t a bad feeling at all. In fact, the 44-year-old father of two daughters gets a little nostalgic when he thinks about what happened.

Tease photo

New blood flows into Compton city politics

Brown is a clear winner as mayor; Galvan slightly ahead as councilman

The winds of political change have swept through Compton once again, and based on unofficial election results from Tuesday, Councilwoman Lillie Dobson was in danger of being toppled from office by newcomer Isaac Galvan, and neophyte Aja Brown has denied former mayor Omar Bradley an opportunity to retake the city’s top elected spot.

Tease photo

Forum on Crenshaw High transformation features youth

Students demand voice in school changes

More than 50 students, parents, teachers and community members turned out for a forum on the future of Crenshaw High, and the goal was to ensure that the concerns and voices of young people are heard and taken into consideration as the school undergoes transformation.

Garcetti wins in L.A.

Los Angeles has spoken. In a high-spending election that pitted two longtime City Hall insiders...

Power Coalition holds Peoples Convention dinner tonight

The South Los Angeles Power Coalition will host its third annual South Los Angeles People's...

Black graduation, dropout rates improve

According to data just released by the California Department of Education, the number of African...

Memo to business: ignore the recession

The statistics speak for themselves. According to a 2007 Survey of Business Ownership conducted by...

Countdown to sequestration

Should the United States Congress fail to enact legislation that will trim the national budget...

Fiscal cliff averted, but Black Caucus worries that cuts still loom

With both the House and Senate having passed legislation--American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R....

Ourweekly top cover stories of 2012

Aside from the glamor and fame, her focus was on helping others As the world...

Deltas will float into history on January 1

When you watch the Tournament of Roses parade on Jan. 1, there will be a...

Candidates address neighborhood safety at mayors forum

In a recent report released by the Advancement Project called "Community Safety Scorecard City of...

Veteran entrepreneur keeps eyeing new ventures

After 55 years of running his own businesses, most of them in retail, Frank Denkins...

Parents angered, insulted by school district

Rosalind Harris is no stranger to public education. She has one offspring who matriculated through...

Urban League honors the builders of L.A.

In 1921, Los Angeles was a young city trying to carve out its place in...

Carson family symbolizes the face of California foreclosure

For 28 years Ronald and Valerie Jackson lived on Harlan Avenue in Carson. They raised...